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QDRO may be needed when dividing property in divorce

When going through divorce, most people want to ensure that they get their fair share. Because dividing property in divorce can be complicated, it is understandable that this area can be a common point of arguments, stress and confusion. California residents may need to fight for certain assets and take extra steps to ensure that particular funds are divided.

When it comes to dividing retirement funds in a 401(k), the process is not necessarily simple. There are many rules that apply to such accounts that work to protect the funds for the retiree. However, these funds are not off limits during divorce unless specified otherwise through a prenup or other agreement. If individuals hope to get their share of such funds, they will likely need to obtain a qualified domestic relations order.

A QDRO is a specific court order that allows for the division of applicable accounts during divorce. The individual receiving funds becomes an alternate payee. In order to need a QDRO, a person must be in line to receive some of the other party's 401(k). If the individuals come to terms that do not include the division of retirement accounts, taking the step of obtaining a QDRO would not be necessary.

Because there are many details that can go into dividing property in divorce, the process can be more complex that some parties initially thought. However, it is still important to make sure that all the necessary steps are taken care of if parties hope to achieve their desired outcomes. Enlisting the assistance of experienced attorneys could help interested California residents ensure that all the proper steps are handled.

Source:, "What's a QDRO?", Jean Folger, Feb. 26, 2018

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